October is Black History Month and Avon and Somerset Police (ASP) are celebrating with two separate awards which recognise theirs and Avon and Somerset Police’s Black Police Association’s work in progressing the causes of inclusion and diversity.
Avon and Somerset Police’s Black Police Association (BPA) Outreach Volunteers have won the Police Support Volunteer Team Award at this year’s Lord Ferrers Awards, an annual Home Office event which recognises the vital role that volunteers play in support of policing and community safety across England and Wales. The event took place in London last week on the 14th October and was attend by the Home Secretary Priti Patel and the Home Office Minister Kit Malthouse.
In addition, Avon and Somerset Police have received an Outstanding Contribution to Diversity Award for their participation in the Stepping Up scheme in Bristol, a leadership development and mentoring programme run by Bristol City Council, which aims to unlock the potential and develop the talents of people from black and minority ethnic backgrounds.
Kermal Singh, General Secretary of the Avon and Somerset Police BPA, who co-ordinates the Outreach Volunteers team and who was recently awarded an MBE for services to policing and diverse communities said: “ The Outreach Volunteers do ground breaking work in building strong and lasting relationships with communities.
“They play a central role in helping to create a more diverse and representative police force by delivering a wide range of outreach activities. They work tirelessly, giving up their time to promote our service’s values, breaking down barriers, dispelling myths and building confidence in the police.
“They’ve also been engaging with young people from different backgrounds, helping to launch an interactive knife crime workshop and attending community events at schools, colleges and universities to secure the interest of future officers and staff. They thoroughly deserve this award which is the third they have won in the past 12 months.”
The BPA Outreach Volunteers team are: Simranjeet Kaur, Andra Serbanescu, Tino Mushongah, Kishore Narain, Eden Tang, Kavita Kaur and Ted Stargatt.
On hearing the news that Avon and Somerset Police were receiving an Outstanding Contribution to Diversity Award from Bristol City Council in recognition of their contribution to the Stepping Up programme, force lead for Inclusion and Diversity Esther Wride said: “I have been privileged to oversee the programme internally for the past four years and have seen some truly wonderful talent from the people who have taken part in this inspirational programme for future leaders run by Bristol City Council.
“It is an honour for Avon and Somerset Police to receive such a humbling award and we will continue in our efforts to become the most inclusive police service in the UK and ensure we reflect our diverse communities.”
Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Shelford added: “It is thanks to their dedication and commitment to improve inclusion and diversity in Avon and Somerset that the Avon and Somerset Police’s Black Police’s Association (BPA) and the force itself has been recognised with these two awards.
“I know the hard work that both the force and the BPA Outreach Volunteers undertake to build and improve relationships with communities, support young people and to develop the talent of local people from black and minority ethnic backgrounds. This work must continue to ensure Avon and Somerset are taking steps in the right direction to become a more diverse and representative police force and, ultimately, the most inclusive police service in the UK. Well done to those involved!”
You can read more about how Avon and Somerset are working towards their ambition to be the most inclusive police force in the country here .
The Outstanding Contribution to Diversity Award will be presented at Police Headquarters in Portishead on 9th November.